The National Business Aviation Association has welcomed legislation introduced Nov. 21 in the U.S. House of Representatives that would compel the Federal Aviation Administration to consult with industry stakeholders through the established rulemaking process before issuing any requirement for some pilots to undergo screening for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) prior to receiving a medical certificate.
The legislation, H.R.3578, is sponsored by House aviation subcommittee chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-2 NJ) and co-sponsored by six other members of the House General Aviation (GA) Caucus. The bill seeks to ensure “that any new or revised requirement providing for the screening, testing, or treatment of an airman . . . is adopted pursuant to a rulemaking proceeding.”
“We thank Representative LoBiondo and other House lawmakers for recognizing that a policy of this magnitude must be vetted through the established rulemaking process, which has proven to be effective so many times in the past,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said. “It is imperative that any new burden on aviators, in this case pilots, be thoroughly analyzed in consultation with stakeholders.”
The bill follows an editorial by Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Frederick Tilton, published in an FAA newsletter earlier this month, in which he stated that the agency “will be releasing shortly” a policy that would subject pilots with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater to OSA screening. Read Tildon’s editorial.
LoBiondo’s measure has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Rick Larsen (D-2-WA), ranking member of the aviation subcommittee; House GA Caucus co-chair Rep. Sam Graves (R-6-MO), and Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-3-IL), Larry Bucshon (R-8- IN), Richard Hudson (R-8-NC) and Pat Meehan (R-7-PA). Learn more about LoBiondo’s bill.